White -tailed Lapwing    Vanellus leucurus


  • Vanellus : Latin word for fan like wings  derived from vannus –winnowing fan
  • Leucurus : Greek word leukos –white; oura –tail { White tailed} 

Vernacular Names:  Pun: Chittpunjhi tathri, Guj: Safed punchhi titodi, Shwetpunch titodi, Hindi: Safed-dum Titihari, Mar: Pandharya Shepatichi Titavi

Distribution in India: Winter visitor in North West India.

Description: Size of 26-29 cm; wt. of 99–198 g; wingspan of 55–70 cm. It has a graceful, slim, long-legged lapwing, with pale, whitish face and  all-white tail; pinkish-brown rest of head and back; grey breast, rosy-buff belly. In flight, shows extensive white from primary-coverts across secondaries, with black outer wing, and legs and feet extend well beyond rather short tail. Both the sexes are alike. The juvenile has feathers of upperparts with dark centers and bright buff fringes; neck and breast are mottled brown-grey or buff, and rest of underparts are white. The first-summer retains juvenile-patterned wing-coverts.

Habitat:It is found in lakeshores and river valleys; nearly always in vicinity of shallow standing or slow-flowing water with suitable bed for wading. Also flooded or recently dried-out marshy meadows and salt-shrub terrain. It breeds in damp, vegetated areas near salt or fresh water; also small vegetated islets and swampy shores of brackish lakes.

 Food Habits: It eats insects, beetles and grasshoppers, caterpillars and fly larvae, worms, molluscs and crustaceans, including freshwater shrimps. It usually feeds on dry land in typical manner of all lapwings, but also by foot-dabbling in shallow water, and sometimes catches prey by probing in soft mud; in Africa also wades in deeper water, sometimes completely submerging head. They are Diurnal.

 Breeding Habits:  They breeding season is mainly Apr-June in Iraq, Iran and southern Russia . The nest is a shallow scrape with sparse lining of plant material or shells and pebbles, in the open, usually near water. They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs. The incubation is 21-24 days. The fledging period is 30 days.